‘We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future’ – George Bernard Shaw

Hello Westmount families!

I realized that in the busyness of school start up, I failed to properly introduce myself and to welcome you to a new school year. My sincerest apologies.

First of all, please let me say that I am very excited and honoured to have been named Principal of Westmount Charter School Mid High Campus beginning this year.

As one of the newest members of the Westmount family, I am eager to get to know the staff, students and their families.  I have been involved in gifted education both as a student and as an educator. In fact, on the first day of school with the students, the best way I found to describe my experience was that it felt like ‘I was home’.

From a professional perspective, I have worked for the CBE for the past 17 years, most recently as Principal of Rosedale School. I had been president of the Gifted and Talented Education council of the ATA and actually I am not entirely new to Westmount as I have also had the honour of serving on the board of Westmount for 6 years (3 years as board chair).

From a teaching and learning perspective I strongly believe that each student deserves to achieve their own personal excellence in their learning. Our charter vision stating fostering gifted education from the Inside Out is not a simple catchphrase but a vision and commitment that each student is valued as an individual worthy of respect and understanding prior to being seen as a student in need of learning.  It is that focus on the development of the whole child that drew me to aspire to be Westmount’s principal. It has made Westmount a great place for our gifted learners and has allowed for them to achieve successes in many aspects of their growth and development. I look forward to continuing our work where each student can be their authentic self in an environment that allows them to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.

On the first day of school, when I introduced myself to the students, I had two priorities.

  1. To have the students begin to know me as person and as their principal. To recognize that my sense of humour is a big part of how I interact with people and also that I genuinely want to get to know people and support them. I am not an administrator who sits in his office all day, but they can expect me to be in the thick of it, lunchrooms, hallways, classrooms. (And that I’m a Star Wars fan who enjoys eating chocolate chips cookies…)
  1. That I expect them to have a role and a responsibility in making Westmount the best school for themselves and others. I talked about them being students who are Curious, Respectful and Connected.
      1. Be Curious – be curious about your learning, about the people you work with, about the greater world you live in, never stop asking questions and seeking new ideas and knowledge. The more curious you are the more you will get of the opportunities Westmount offers.
      2. Be Respectful – I have never known a moment, whether you are happy, frustrated, angry or feeling wild and crazy where being respectful doesn’t make things better. You will not go wrong by being respectful. In particular, be:
        1. Respectful of yourself. You are worthy of everyone’s respect. Please take care of your self, make the right choice not always the easy choice, get a good night sleep, ask for help when you need it.
        2. Respectful of each other – a community looks after each other – embraces each individual as unique and yet still works together.
        3. Respectful of our environment – school environment, the physical building and the greater community – what you do here has ripples beyond our school into the many shared spaces we exist in.
      3. Get Connected – get to know your peers, make connection outside the classroom – be engaged in all that Westmount has to offer – clubs, athletics, the arts, even if you are not on a team – come out and support them. The more you put into Westmount – the Westmount will give back.

I am looking forward to connecting with each of you in the coming weeks to start the process of building that strong trusting relationship with you and your families. Please take the time to come in and introduce yourself. I can often be found in the front foyer greeting students in the morning and wishing them well at the end of the day.

Sincerely,

Graeme Finlay
Principal, Mid High Campus
Westmount Charter School| www.westmountcharter.com
t |403 217 9427|ext 2004